MONDAY, MARCH 18
It's topsy-turvy turmoil in the land of Hollywood Gossip today! First of all, we get the stunning news that curvaceous cutie Pamela Anderson has contracted Hepatitis C--and she got it from that no-good Tommy Lee! According to E! Online, the former Baywatch hottie caught the hep by sharing a tattoo needle with her former hubby, both of whom have exhibited a great interest in body art. While the former Mötley Crüe drummer could not be reached for comment, Pammy says the deadbeat never told her he had the Hep, and leaked the news in order to gain the upper hand in their current bloody custody battle. According to doctors, Hep C affects roughly 4 million Americans, and while it is usually contracted through unprotected sex, sharing intravenous needles, or blood-to-blood contact, it can also be picked up from dirty tattoo tools. It can cause swelling of the liver, which in turn can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or complete liver failure. Our hearts and well-wishes go out to Pammy, and as for YOU, Tommy Lee as usual, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME! And speaking of the love lives of the rich and washed-up You certainly remember how we reported a few months ago that foul-mouthed honky rapper Eminem was dating (of all people), aged starlet Kim Basinger? Well, apparently he's given her the heave-ho for another decrepit darlingnone other than former Spice Girl, Geri "Old Spice" Halliwell! The two have been seen sharing lunches, dinners, and even the occasional late-night bowl of Metamucil. Good luck, you crazy kids! Meanwhile, our favorite gossip rag in the world (the New York Post) posits that adorable Drew Barrymore has up and gone gay! Since her Tom Green breakup (and can we say "THANK YOU, GOD"?) she's been spotted "caressing" a woman in Central Park, as well as openly "canoodling" with two ladies in an L.A. nightclub, where the ladies reportedly "took turns kissing and fondling each other's breasts." Ohhh you know, we always wondered what "canoodling" meant.

TUESDAY, MARCH 19
Today Mother Nature gave us another unavoidable clue that humankind is slowly destroying our planet--not that anyone gives a crap. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (don't laugh!), climatic global warming caused the collapse of a large Antarctic ice shelf that was roughly the size of Rhode Island. The shelf, named Larsen B by scientists, had a surface area of 1,250 square miles and was 650 feet thick. And though you've heard this one thousand times before, the warming of the earth's atmosphere (thanks to noxious polluting emissions) could lead to melting polar ice caps, severe climate changes, a rise in sea levels, expansion in deserts, andLet's bring this down to something we can all understand. No more New York City, which means NO MORE Saks Fifth Avenue! The good news here is that President Bush looks like a bigger asshole than ever, since it was his idea to reject the Kyoto Protocol, a multinational action to limit greenhouse gases. He felt like a voluntary reduction of factories spewing shit into the sky and rivers would work just as well. When asked about the Rhode Island-sized chunk of ice that broke away, he said he "never really liked Rhode Island anyway."

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20
Have you noticed there haven't been as many American flags hanging off buildings and pick up trucks lately? One possible reason is the following story, which is sure to provide a sharp kick to the patriotic crotch. A Reuters story reports today that a 16-year-old retarded orphan seeking asylum from Guinea was locked away by the INS and suffered horrible abuse from the guards and other prisoners. The boy, who was incarcerated for nine months before being able to see an immigration judge, was unable to communicate with guards or prisoners, was regularly beaten and, on one occasion, pepper-sprayed. He came to America after his father--who was a political prisoner--died behind bars. Psychologists rated the boy's IQ at approximately 47, yet the immigration judge ruled that his story of being abandoned was not credible because he was "mentally retarded." Currently, the boy is still being held in prison (along with approximately 5,000 other illegal immigrant children) until he can be shipped back home. Oh, and lest we forget, the original reason the boy chose to come to America is because friends told him it was "the land of freedom."

THURSDAY, MARCH 21
And if you like the way we treat innocent retarded people who come to this country--you're gonna LOVE the way we treat the al Qaeda! Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was practically drooling today as he announced the rules for the forthcoming military tribunals. The good news: Those facing trial are innocent until proven guilty! (That's big of them.) They would also have the right to "avoid self-incrimination," as well as being provided military counsel. The bad news: Two-thirds of a jury would be enough to convict, and the death penalty can only be decided by unanimous decision, and with approval by President Bush. (Wait now, is Bush the guy who hates the death penalty, or loves the death penalty?)

FRIDAY, MARCH 22
A friend of a friend of ours swears he saw a story on the local news today about a group of firefighters who hazed newbies by making them do dishes with racquetballs shoved up their butts. According to our friend's friend, there was a VIDEOTAPE. This friend is VERY credible. Having a passing interest in local news, firemen, and racquetball, we searched casually--then obsessively--for the details of this story. We looked, specifically, on the Internet. A key word search for "fire fighters, racquetball, and butts" turned up nothing. Local news sites did not list such a story in their archives. Is this a HOAX? Was our friend teasing us? Or is this a vast, nefarious conspiracy to protect a group of unwise, racquetball-pooping firemen? Do you know details of this case? Have you ever shoved a racquetball up your anus? Email us at ann@portlandmercury.com

SATURDAY, MARCH 23
Today the Associated Press reported that the Texans are up to no good again. Now they are making children sweat and run. Yes, it's mandatory gym class in elementary school. Phased out seven years ago to make room for actual studying, Texas has decided to reinstate gym in an effort to slim down its fat children, and grow a tighter crop of cheerleaders. Are square dancing and dodgeball really more valuable than long division? Would you rather be flabby and smart, or healthy and dumb? If you ask us, Texas should just fire a few teachers and invest their money in yoga mats. It can't hurt. Unlike dodgeball.

SUNDAY, MARCH 24
Today we had an Oscar party to celebrate the fabulousness/cattiness that is The Academy Awards. And might we add that we looked fabulous in our floor-length, pink ballerina skirt, tiny red t-shirt, and blue velvet blazer. But we did NOT have an Oscar party JUST to dress up, or make our friends wear Goodwill prom dresses. We had an Oscar party to honor Hollywood. We LOVE YOU HOLLYWOOD! There. Now for the cattiness. Ronnie Howard over Robert Altman? Ronnie Howard, who may be the only man we've ever seen to whom we would without irony recommend a hairpiece? Is this not CRIMINAL? Did you see David Lynch whispering in Altman's ear after the winner was announced? Do you think he was conjuring the Mulholland Drive cowboy? For weeks, the critics have been promising us the "Black Oscars." We were nervous. Was this going to be like the "Spanish Grammies"? But it all turned out okay, and Halle Berry and Denzel Washington actually WON and then gave very moving speeches, while looking beautiful in their respective ensembles. We'd like to see THEM in a Robert Altman movie. Jennifer Connelly won Best Supporting Actress for THE BAD MOVIE because she's pretty, AND because The Academy wanted to make up for giving the mannish Marcia Gay Harden an Oscar last year over the pert Kate Hudson (who HAS been in a Robert Altman movie). Does anyone ever get an Oscar for the movie they deserve? Does balsamic vinegar come out of ballerina skirts? Can you really fit a racquetball up your butt? Are we EVER going to get that image out of our mind?